Sunday, August 03, 2008

Leftists shutting down conservative blogs

Shutting down debate is the long established form of the Left, of course. Reason is not their bag. Hate is. Anyway there does seem to have been a concerted campaign to sucker Google into blocking lots of conservative blogs. The Google "flagging" system is very open to abuse like that. Google need to wise up somehow. A flood of bad flags should tell then that it is all just a campaign. I noted that Greenie Watch was one of the victims for about one day but there are heaps of complaints from other conservative bloggers -- see here and here for a few details.

And to get the Sitemeter debacle at the same time is amazing. I will never use sitemeter again. My solution of replacing my templates with simpler ones did the trick but I wish I had realized that it was just the sitemeter component that was the problem. I will have a fair bit of work restoring good templates now.


Shocking irresponsibility

Those who argue against an urgent expansion of oil exploration because it would not have an impact for many years are unwittingly making an argument to drill now (as well as to implement long-term initiatives generally). The US imports nearly 70% of its oil. The SPR holds a mere 35 days of US oil needs.

If the Strait of Hormuz were shut for any extended period of time, the US economy, and the warmaking capability of the US would be crippled. (What would happen if the Persian Gulf were irradiated or the largest Saudi fields permanently disabled, for example?) This wouldn't happen if our dependence on foreigners for energy were relatively modest, but that is not the case.

The opponents of offshore and ANWR drilling have made a persuasive case that the US cannot materially increase its conventional energy supplies in the short term. That means that the Congress's failure to act now to increase supplies is an act of irresponsibility and gross negligence of stunning proportions. If events go bad at some point, the inquiry into Pearl Harbor would look like a picnic by comparison.

The price of gas makes drilling a popular policy today, according to all the polls. That is fortunate, since it provides an excuse for Congress to act on a strategic matter of the utmost importance, which otherwise would likely continue to be ignored. Not to act today would perhaps come to be seen as the greatest act of political negligence in our lifetimes.




McCain Goes Viral: "Who would have thought it? The McCain campaign is now running more effectively viral ads than the Obama campaign. The Landstuhl ad, which I didn't like (because of the factual problem) stoked a week's worth of debate that was harmful to Obama. The "Celeb" ad has dominated cable chat and had 1.2 million YouTube hits the last time I looked. Now, there's this brilliant "The One" ad noted by Kathryn earlier which will, I'm sure, be a YouTube sensation because it's so fun to watch. None of these ads need to have-nor have they had, as far as I can tell-a big broadcast run to be effective. And, for political ads, they make relatively shrewd use of pop culture. The "Celeb" ad wouldn't have had the impact without Britney and Paris. And "The One" ends with Charlton Heston. As everyone has said this week, this isn't "worthy" of the old John McCain of 2000. Which is a good thing because: 1) it's a new media and technology environment and he's got to plug into it; 2) he's running behind with fewer resources and less organization, so his campaign has to have a certain guerrilla element and viral video is a cheap way to drive the debate. Bravo...

The Net Effect of Minimum Wage : "Last week, the federal minimum wage increased from $5.85 per hour to $6.55 per hour. While some are celebrating the change as a boon for low-wage workers, the measure's net effect will be negative. Employers will reduce employee hours and job benefits as they attempt to minimize operations costs, and workers will suffer from fewer opportunities and, ultimately, less experience. As has been the case every time the federal minimum wage increases, the low-wage workers are hit the hardest. A higher minimum wage means fewer opportunities for those who need them most. In competitive labor markets, wages are not determined by social custom or "need." They are determined by productivity. Every hour of labor that does not produce more than $6.55 worth of output will not be scheduled. As the legally mandated minimum wage increases, workers will want to obtain more hours but employers will want to give them fewer. The burden will fall disproportionately on the poor, particularly minorities."

Feds Can Seize Laptops at Border Without Cause: "Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed. Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.... DHS officials said the newly disclosed policies -- which apply to anyone entering the country, including U.S. citizens -- are reasonable and necessary to prevent terrorism."

Black bishop scorches Cantuar: "A leading conservative cleric has launched a devastating attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury, accusing him of "betrayal" and calling his office a "remnant of imperial colonialism". Writing in The Times, the Most Rev Henry Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda, says Rowan Williams has betrayed churches that remain true to the Bible by inviting colleagues who consecrated the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire to the Lambeth Conference. Archbishop Orombi, a leader of the conservative Global South bishops and one of 230 to boycott the conference, indicates that to ensure long-term unity, future Anglican leaders will need to be more representative of the wider Church. The Archbishop of Uganda stands by the biblical texts that rule against homosexuality but says that he and his peers do not want to cause schism by leaving the Anglican Communion."

At last they get it: "The Anglican Communion is ridiculed as "the Gay Church" and is losing members over homosexuality, say bishops meeting in Canterbury. Mission is being damaged and confidence in the validity of the Anglican Communion is being hurt, they say. The bishops' comments appear in a draft of the final Reflections document of the Lambeth Conference. The document lists unexpectedly strong concerns about the liberal direction that the Anglican Church in the West is taking over homosexuality. The report says: "We wish this wasn't the big issue because there are bigger ones. But we can't now avoid it." It says that some provinces feel the teaching of the missionaries who brought the faith from the West has been betrayed. "It is experienced as a new form of colonisation." The report cautions that the liberalisation of the Western Church is seen as leading to sexual licence: "Confidence in the validity of [the] Anglican Communion is severely damaged." It continues: "Bishops cannot be a symbol of unity when their consecration itself divided the Church."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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